Fun intranet engagement ideas – we need them more than ever
If like me and most of the UK, the constant Corona news, the colder weather and the darker nights is making you crave some fun, I’ve got some great ideas that you can adapt for your own intranet. I don’t think its ‘fluffy’ or ‘silly’ or ‘non business essential’ to want and need some fun. As most of us are still working remotely, we are naturally missing our colleagues, the office banter, the gossip, the social nights out. I know I am. Just like it’s ok to not be ok, its also ok to want to have some FUN!
Before we start looking at how we can all have more fun at the moment and how your intranet can help you, I’ve searched the web and there are hundreds of reports on the effect of having fun, here’s a brief summary.
Did you know:
- When we have fun at work with colleagues, these experiences have a positive effect on building trust and developing communications
- Fun gives us the chance to connect and be creative
- Fun helps us improve our relationships with colleagues
- It helps us all lift our spirits and smile (and we all know the positive effects of smiling on our mental health!)
- It helps us forget about the stresses of everyday life, just for a moment.
So let’s be confident enough to say that we want to have fun! It’s actually very good for us.
How do we have fun at the moment?
Within a remote working environment, it can be tricky to have fun right now. You might be working alone, or like me with your partner (but they are across the other side of the house and the only time you meet is to make coffee!). But one of the first things I do every morning is check out our intranet to see what’s new, what colleagues are up to and if any interesting pictures or messages or discussions have been posted. I’m hoping that everyone that reads this, does this as well. Our intranets connect all of us virtually, so can we make our intranets fun?
What makes something fun at work?
I always think there is nothing worse than organised fun as it then ceases to be fun and becomes just another thing to add to my ever increasing to do list. In my opinion to make something fun, behind the scenes you need to give the air of spontaneity, catch people off guard, surprise and delight them. I also think it shouldn’t just be a big bang fun thing, we should all be having fun more than once a week, a month or at Christmas!
Did I just say Christmas? I’m sorry but to have fun, we need to think about the events, seasons, activities, news (non- Corona related!) that we can tap into. Don’t forget pets, keeping fit, baking, strictly come dancing, comedy and anything else that will make your colleagues want to join in.
I’m going with the Christmas theme for my fun example, let’s see where it goes. So write down what you would usually do for Christmas. Here at Sorce, usually we would:
- Have company drinks and night out
- Secret Santa
- Decorate your desk
- Decorate your office
- Christmas jumper for charity day
- Martyn Green would host a carol singing session with mulled wine.
Now we are going to be having a remote working virtual Christmas (unless a medical miracle happens at lightning speed), how can we make this the best, most fun work Christmas ever? Easily is the good news!
Here are just the first 5 ideas on how we can bring a smile to everyone’s faces with the help of our intranets this year!1. Christmas advent count down
Get everyone involved and ask colleagues if they have a Christmas hack, a Christmas tradition, bake that they are happy to film themselves doing and share as a video on your intranet? From taking on Mary Berry’s Christmas cake, to making snowflake decorations, to telling us the story of the night before Christmas, or even what happens on Christmas day in your household. The less professional and more personal it is the better! Invite everyone to send you their videos and then the release one each day from the 1st Dec and invite your colleagues, to like and comment.2. Virtual secret Santa
Hold a live secret Santa draw one lunchtime. Ask a jovial colleague to put everyone’s name in a festive hat and ask everyone to pull a name out with your colleagues help. Then privately message them the name. We can all then post our secret gifts to our recipient before a certain date and get together for a video reveal and “guess who your secret Santa is”.3. Decorate your home office space
Just think, this year we can really go to town and decorate our own office space. Anything goes. The usual office rules don’t apply in your own home! We can express our own individuality and style, rather than just unboxing the old office decs again. Get creative, plan out your area and get creating the ultimate Christmas remote working area. Post your pics to your intranet and see how many likes your festive office gets. You could post a surprise to the person with the most likes.4. Christmas drinks
Why just do it once?! How about Christmas cocktail experimenting with each other on a Friday afternoon. See what’s lurking in your cupboard and experiment together. Each team could be responsible for coming up with a drink for a different day of Christmas. They don’t need to be alcoholic, it could be experimenting to make the most indulgent hot chocolate for your favourite Christmas film. You could post your recipes on your intranet.5. Let’s get intimate for a festive virtual lunch
I think we all know that its hopeless getting everyone on a video call at once. It plays out like a comedy sketch, you all talk at once, then no one talks, then wifi packs up and people freeze. What about a random draw to pick groups of 5 or 6 colleagues to meet up for a virtual festive lunch. They choose what they are going to create through your intranet, get the ingredients in and make it and enjoy it together. Mine would end up burnt, but that doesn’t matter, it’s the act of doing something together and not talking work that’s important and having a laugh together.
These are just a few initial ideas for how we can have fun using my Christmas example. You could create fun around any theme though. The important thing is to let yourself have fun, its ok to smile and be happy and forget about the wider world for a while. It’s healthy and it’s well deserved.
Think about how your intranet can help you have fun, with it’s social features, content functionality and forms and much more. You can go as far as your ideas can take you.
Let’s all try and have some fun, make an effort, get to know each other in a different way and smile!
If you’d like some links to share with your colleagues to prove just how important fun is, here are some you might like: